Bill Gates Invests $1.7 Billion in U.S. Public Education

Bill Gates
via Sebastian Vital / CC-BY-2.0

Bill Gates has long-talked about giving away his fortune to the world. Well, his most recent donation was $1.7 billion… given to the U.S. public education system.

According to the Washington Post, the money will go to schools that are interested in developing and testing new approaches to teaching.

“Every student should get a great public education and graduate with skills to succeed in the marketplace,” said Gates, during keynote address at the Council of the Great City Schools conference in Cleveland. “The role of philanthropy here is not to be the primary funder, but rather to fund pilots, to fund new ideas, to let people — it’s always the educators coming up with the ideas — to let them try them out and see what really works super well and get those to scale.”

Through his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Microsoft founder has spent at least $3.4 billion on public education in the United States.

He’s also donated money to support charter schools, teacher preparation programs and various other improvement initiatives.